By Tan Chong Yaw
LOCAL start-up XMI's tiny speakers are sold in 58 countries from Venezuela to Cyrus to Britain.
Set up with just $30,000 in the bank three years ago, the firm pulled in $4.8 million in revenue last year because of its popular tennis ball-sized X-mini speakers.
The home-grown player was hailed two Fridays ago when it walked away as the start-up category winner in the inaugural Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) Awards, beating 117 others for its innovation.
XMI chief executive officer Ryan Lee, 32, says: "Gaining the recognition of some of the industry's leaders will motivate us to strive on to keep pursuing our vision of always staying innovative."
True to form, he already has two new products up his sleeve for the Christmas season including XMI's first MP3 player, X-mini Happy.
The event's organising committee chairman, Eddie Chau, who helmed a panel of 32 judges, says that the awards showed a "good number of great innovations in Singapore".
SiTF, an infocomm industry association with 400 corporate members, also gave out other awards: Open category - PGK Media for its Adme Network and Wish Singapore, an advertising platform using digital video walls and billboards.
Infocomm local enterprise category - KAI Square for its Juzz4Logistics, a real-time surveillance security solution.
End user category, government - Immigration & Checkpoints Authority Singapore for its Integrated Visitor Management Programme, a system for the delivery of immigration services to online visitors.
The winner in the tertiary student category was Temasek Polytechnic. A trio of 19-year-olds, Brandon Lum, Anselm Nicholas Foong and Rodney Tan, won for their SmartShop application which enables shoppers to virtually "try on" an item online.
"It was like the IT equivalent of the Oscars," says Anselm of the awards ceremony which was held at Fusionopolis.
There were also six merit award winners: Quantum Inventions, Nanyang Technological University, Raffles Institution, River Valley High School, Health Promotion Board and the Institute of Mental Health.
The SiTF award winners will be representing Singapore in the Asia Pacific Information and Communication Technology Awards (Apicta) which will be held in Melbourne in December.
This story was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life.
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